What I like to refer to as “The Modern Antiquity”, the city of Amman offers a clash between contemporary notions and antique culture. Alongside its booming metropolitan downtown region, ironically referred to as ‘Al-Balad’ or The Old Country, Jordan’s capital is home to a number of ancient sites renowned across the globe.
The Amman Citadel, located on ‘Jabal Al-Qala’a’, or The Castle Mountain, serves as a focal point throughout all of downtown Amman. From the Assyrians, to the Babylonians, to the Persians, and finally the Muslims, each of the civilizations that have previously occupied the region left behind their own shreds of influence that still linger across the site today.
Among one of the Byzantine influenced temples built on the site, stands the Temple of Hercules.
Near the Citadel, another Byzantine styled structure can be found, known as The Umayyad Palace, or ‘Al-Qasr’. Throughout Umayyad rule, circa 661-750 AD, this grand structure served both as a Governor’s palace, and mosque.
While on top of the Jabal Al-Qala’a, or The Castle Mountain, the Roman Amphitheatre situated just a few hundred meters below, is easily visible.
This 6,000 seat theatre was steeply built into Amman’s hillside circa 138 CE. It features side entrances, and a high-section seating area referred to as “The Gods.”
Among the Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace, I stumbled upon one of the site’s fragmented statues, known as the Hand of Hercules.
Before leaving the Citadel, I took some time to embrace the breathtaking mountainside views which the area had to offer.
Rightfully illustrating Jordan’s strong sense of nationalism, the country hosts and glamorizes one of the largest flags in the world. Standing at 1,032 square metres long, the flag recently broke the Guinness World Record.
Having just entered the second week of my study abroad semester in Amman, I find myself falling in love with this beautiful city more and more each day. Google Images could have never prepared me for the astonishing landscapes and scenery I would come to lay eyes upon. Choosing to study and participate in service-learning in Amman, Jordan has unregrettably been one of the best decisions in my life.
I can’t wait to see what the upcoming months have to offer !
Surprised to learn that you can study and participate in service-learning for a semester in Amman? Learn more here.